Spectacular International Space Station view of Comet Lovejoy

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, December 27, 2011

As many of you know, Comet 2011/W3 (Lovejoy), a sungrazer that miraculously survived its encounter with the Sun’s corona December 15, is putting on a nice show in the Southern Hemisphere. The comet is showing a long tail that stretches 10° and glows at magnitude 4, having peaked as it rose above the horizon in the south at magnitude –1. Southern Hemisphere observers have had some brief, incredible views of the comet, and International Space Station Commander Dan Burbank photographed the comet from 240 miles (386 kilometers) above Earth’s surface December 21. Burbank’s photo, shown here, is spectacular.

Dan Burbank
For a sweet video of the comet taken by Burbank, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoZIwtgEqKY


Tags: Comets
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